As most of you who know me have found out, I spend a fair amount of time on this site not just making friends and having conversations, but also have debates which usually center around history. I am not a professional historian, but I am pretty well-read on the subject and consider it one of my hobbies, so I usually find myself debating with people not very familiar with the issues.
What I've noticed is that many atheists are not as historically literate as they think (I've come to blame this on the fact that for many people, science is what drives them away for religion, so most people on this site come from a scientific background rather than a historical one), and so they've usually accepted some historical myths which may or may not include:
- the New Testament canon was chosen by Constantine based on which ideas were most likely to help him as an Emperor
- Jesus never existed as a historical figure and is a construction of Messianic ideals/conglomeration of multiple preachers/alien
- the Roman Empire fell because it incorporated Christianity
- "the Vatican" suppressed science during the "Dark Ages" and basically whenever it could, burning many scientists in the process
- the Vatican actively helped National Socialism before, during and after the Second World War
- the Vatican blew up the Crab Nebula
As it turns out these ideas are at the core of many people's atheism and their arguments against Christianity, which I believe to be a bad thing since (a) much of it is wrong bordering on the conspiratorial and (b) any half-informed Christian debater is going to kick your ass on this issue.
I'm not very fond of either result, but since these myths just refuse to die (and I get tired of refuting them sometimes) I thought I'd create a series of blog posts on these subjects to give you an idea of what we do and do not know about these subjects and what arguments (against Christianity) are sound and which are not.
I'll also probably tackle other issues from time to time and give you some arguments against Christianity from an atheist historical perspective (debunk the resurrection argument, expose the Turin Shroud as a fake, etcetera).
The first series is probably going to be about Jesus Mythicism. CP Hold is actually doing a series on his blog trying to refute the arguments against Jesus Mythicism (and doing a fantastically poor job). But he's chosen not to allow my comments, for reasons best known to him. So I guess I'll just address his arguments on my own blog and debunk some other stuff while I'm at it ;)
Stay tuned and kind regards,